A Mexican railway company has halted operations after a video showing migrants packed into freight cars riding into the U.S. went viral earlier this week, citing safety concerns for those climbing aboard.
Ferromex railway announced Tuesday that it would temporarily suspend trains running in the northern part of the country as migrants are getting hurt in the process of climbing aboard the freight cars.
"There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants in recent days," Ferromex said in a statement, adding that it was stopping the trains "to protect the physical safety of the migrants" while it awaited action by governing authorities and law enforcement to solve the larger issue.
The company specifically cited about a "half-dozen regrettable cases of injuries or deaths" caused by migrants hopping onto freight cars in recent days. It also said some migrants were jumping onto moving freight cars "despite the grave danger that represents."
Ferromex, Mexico's largest concessionary rail operator, said the stoppage brought a halt to 60 trains carrying cargo that would fill 1,800 tractor-trailers. Some international trade would also be affected by the new order, the company said.
The announcement comes as desperate migrants are increasingly seeking access to the U.S., overwhelming both Mexican and U.S. border officials.
Migrants have long used the trains, known collectively as "The Beast," to hitch rides to the U.S. border, and a video of a Ferromex train out of Zacatecas, Mexico, packed with migrants — heading toward the U.S. southern border — went viral on Sunday.
When the company announced the decision to halt train operations, it said there were about 1,500 migrants gathered at a rail yard in the city of Torreon, in the northern border state of Coahuila.
The company also reported about 800 migrants waiting at the freight yards in Irapuato, in the north-central state of Guanajuato.
About 1,000 people were reported to be already riding freight cars on the train line that connects the city of Chihuahua and the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.